methods section is used to analyze the relative efficiency of firms among the survey sample. 
Efficiency in this context is defined as the measured satisfaction on a five point Likert scale, 
ranking e commerce impact from  not at all  to  a great deal  and based on the individual set of 
IT and e commerce implementations. A high satisfaction rate based on a certain set of IT 
infrastructure can therefore be defined as  efficient.  An aggregated result of the DEA model is 
provided in Table 4, where the efficient establishments are categorized by their appropriate 
industry and firm size. While one third of all establishments can be regarded as  efficient  in the 
sample, a detailed analysis reveals more SMEs as efficient in the retail/wholesale and 
banking/insurance sectors in comparison to large establishments in these sectors. Even more 
interesting, the retail sector gains more efficiency from e commerce usage than the 
manufacturing or the banking sectors.  
TABLE 4  Percentage of Relative Efficient E Commerce Users by Size and Industry 
 Manufacturing 
Retail/ 
Banking/ 
Total 
Wholesale 
Insurance 
SME 
24.2 47.1 31.4 34.3 
Large  37.1 40.6 24.2 33.0 
Total 
30.9 42.4 27.9 33.7 
Source:CRITO Global E Commerce Survey, 2002;  unweighted sample.
Looking at the differences between  efficient  and  inefficient  establishments per sector reveals 
that  efficient  establishments have not only put into operation an equivalent or higher 
percentage of easy to implement e commerce solutions such as online advertising or online 
sales, but also a significantly higher percentage of more complex solutions such as EDI or 
Internet based supply chain management. The data in Table 4 to Table 7 are the detailed results 
of the conducted DEA analysis. DEA uses a linear programming approach to differentiate the 
efficient from the inefficient establishments which DEA investigated as significant. The 
proposition that the degree of complexity increases (see the directionality reflected by the arrows 
in the following tables below) is based on the assumption that the complexity of technical 
integration together with the necessity of external coordination causes difficulties to increase. On 
the other hand, a real application to application integration reduces manual interruptions and 
media flow interruptions and increases the benefits by automation. This thesis is also true for 
online sales or online procurement. While online sales are, from a technical integration point of 
view, not really difficult to establish   one  only  needs to link a firm's internal system with a 
web server   the online procurement procedure is much more difficult. Online procurement for 
large enterprises and for SMEs are based on automatic replenishment systems generating order 
messages automatically and submitting these by using EDI over the Internet.  
Considering the differences in the usage of e commerce technologies, efficient establishments 
often use more complex solutions, as Tables 5 to 7 indicate. The efficient establishments are 
marked by the  +  sign. 
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